UNSC members call for calm amid Jerusalem, Gaza violence flare-up

The United Nations Security Council held a closed door session on Monday to discuss rising tensions in east Jerusalem, particularly around the Temple Mount, also known as al Haram al Sharif.

A Palestinian woman reacts during scuffles with Israeli security force members amid Israeli-Palestinian tension as Israel marks Jerusalem Day, near Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City May 10, 2021. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
A Palestinian woman reacts during scuffles with Israeli security force members amid Israeli-Palestinian tension as Israel marks Jerusalem Day, near Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City May 10, 2021.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
United Nations Security Council members on Monday called for a restoration of calm as Israeli-Palestinian violence escalated in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
The Security Council held a closed-door session on Monday to discuss rising tensions in east Jerusalem, particularly around the Temple Mount, also known as al-Haram al-Sharif.
The meeting was held in New York just before Palestinians in Gaza launched rockets at Israel.
China, which holds the UNSC presidency this month, was expected to issue a statement on its behalf later in the day.
After the meeting, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jung tweeted: “Let’s work together for the de-escalation.”
Vietnam’s mission to the UN tweeted a summary of what it told the Security Council, saying it expressed “grave concern,” condemned “all acts of violence [and urged] all parties to exercise [maximum] restraint.” Hanoi also called on Israel to stop settlement activity and to halt “forced evictions” of Palestinians and “home demolitions.”
Diplomats said the briefing was requested by two-thirds of the 15-member council – Tunisia, Ireland, China, Estonia, France, Norway, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Vietnam.
After the meeting, Norway’s mission to the UN tweeted it was “critical that political, religious [and] other leaders do all they can to de-escalate this volatile situation.”
“All measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character [and] status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967 are illegal,” it added.
The Trump administration had been supportive of Israel at the UN and used its veto power at the Security Council to protect the Jewish state from censure.
US President Joe Biden has promised to stand by Israel at the UN, but the Jerusalem and Gaza violence could test that resolve.
Reuters contributed to this report.